EasyJet will introduce allocated seating on all of its flights from 27 November 2012. The airline trialled allocated seating in April with nearly 2 million passengers flying on 12,500 allocated seating flights. In response to the trial’s success, the airline took the decision to roll out allocated seating across the whole network.
easyJet trialled allocated seating because passenger research showed that the boarding process could be a source of stress for some customers and in some case, a barrier to them flying with easyJet. The key tests of the trial were to improve passenger satisfaction without impacting easyJet’s ability to deliver industry leading punctuality – all of which were achieved on trial flights.
Research among passengers who have travelled on an easyJet allocated seating flight has shown that 71% think allocated seating is better due to the improved boarding experience, while over 60% said that they are more likely to fly with easyJet in the future as a result.
Paul Simmons, easyJet’s UK Director, commented:
"Today’s move offering allocated seating on all of our flights is the single, biggest change the airline has undertaken in its history and an example of easyJet trying to do all it can to make travel easy and affordable for our passengers. Our customers told us allocated seating was important to them and the extensive trial has delivered positive feedback across Europe.
"Allocated seating provides a better boarding experience and gives passengers the added choice of selecting a seat for those who want to. Thanks to a sophisticated algorithm, passengers who do not wish to pay to select their seat will be seated with the other passengers in their booking the majority of the time.
"We are confident this move will not only make our current passengers happier when flying with easyJet but will also encourage new customers to choose to fly with us."
All passengers will be allocated a seat for free on easyJet’s flights but will have the choice of selecting a specific seat for a fee when they book flights, or adding them later to guarantee where they’ll be sitting. There are three bands of pricing, dependent on the seat selected:
- £12 for extra leg room
- £8 for up front seats (emergency exits, row 2-5 on A319 or 2-6 on A320)
- £3 for any other seat
easyJet trialled allocated seating during the summer season, the busiest time of year, to stress test the new systems and procedures. The airline decided to roll out the system in the winter season when fewer people travel to ensure a smooth transition. The trial flights showed that allocated seating can be delivered at the same time as maintaining strong levels of on time performance and without adding cost.
easyJet plus! annual cardholders and Flexi Fare customers will be able to select a seat free of charge as well as continuing to enjoy the benefits of Speedy Boarding’s dedicated check-in desk and Speedy Boarding - allowing them to board the aircraft first.
Passengers purchasing Upfront or Extra Legroom seats will be given access to the Speedy Boarding dedicated check-in desk and will be among the first to board.